In Part 5, we said OSHA requires electrical installations to conform to the NEC plus additional requirements. Those additional requirements are:
With the NEC’s safety claim in Article 90, does it make sense that OSHA adds requirements? The answer lies in a key difference between the NEC and OSHA. The NEC provides installation requirements; OSHA provides construction requirements. The NEC was never a construction safety standard, but OSHA 1926 always has been.
In the first of these additional requirements, OSHA adds the option of administration for protecting users of equipment from shock. That is, you can implement an assured grounding conductor program (AGCP) instead of following to the NEC requirements for GFCI protection.
Construction firms were using AGCPs long before the NEC mentioned GFCI devices. This was the standard way of reducing hazardous potential on metallic objects that construction workers might touch. While the advent of GFCI is a good thing, it doesn’t make AGCP obsolete.
What about those other four requirements?
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(E): All lamps for general illumination must be protected from accidental contact or breakage.
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(F): Don’t suspend temporary lights by their cords unless they are designed for that method.
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(G): In wet locations, use 12V (or less) portable lamps; you can use 120V, if GFCI-protected.
- 1926.405(a)(2)(ii)(J): All extension cords must be rated for hard usage or extra hard usage; the same applies for portable lamp cords.